Two and a half star day.
People are cynical about democracy these days. This is one of the terrible side effects of the War on Terror. The US's attempts to spread democracy by force have made it easy for dictators and their apologists to claim democratisation is some sort of Western imperialist plot. Worse, the war has made resurgent the racist belief that certain countries or certain peoples are just resistant to democracy.
There was a more optimistic time. It kicked off with the non-violent People Power Revolution in the Philippines in 1986, which resulted in the ouster of Marcos. Three years later, the Berlin Wall came down piece by piece and the Soviet republics fell like dominoes.
People Power at Theatre Passe Muraille takes us back to 1986; it's nice to see some optimism about democracy on stage (even if we know the Philippines needed a second People Power Revolution in 2001 and is still plagued by vote-rigging scandals and states of emergency). I give the show 2.5/4 stars in today's Globe.
Meanwhile, at Buddies in Bad Times, Sky Gilbert's Happy: A Very Gay Little Musical is a lousy musical, but an interesting play. I'll take a flawed, but stimulating show over a better-crafted, but dull one any day. I give it 2.5 stars, despite the fact that I compare it to a baby being smothered with bubble wrap.
On the other hand: Robert Cushman rips into People Power ("For the second time in a row, the main stage at Theatre Passe Muraille is given over to a show that doesn't deserve to be there"), while The Sun's John Coulbourn gives it 3/5 stars and Eye (someone other than Hoile) gives it 4/5. Was there no Star review?
As for Happy, Richard Ouzounian gives it a single star as does Eye Weekly's Christopher Hoile. The Sun's John Coulbourn is slightly more generous: 2/5.